3800 Supercharged Astre

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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:31 am

Legal Eagle :th:

I went ahead and insured and tagged the SJ even though it has no muffler and is not driven. The weather has been just too darn cold ever since I got the H-Body off the dirt. Over a hundred hours below freezing and mostly highs just in the teens. Let me tell you that is cold for Texas. Not like the eastern seaboard is experiencing but cold for my whiny butt.

I went with Hagerty on my classic insurance. In Texas its $50 bucks for antique tags for five years and no state inspection sticker required. Oh, and the bonus you only run one tag in the back, very cool for me. Hagerty wasn't the cheapest but seemed to be the most comprehensive. Back in the day I used Hagerty and my full coverage for my Trans Am was like $60 for the year.

The other motive for tagging the SJ is I can park and work on the car in my driveway without Code Enforcement all up in my S**t. Nothing more to report other than just these ramblings. It's good to ramble after not posting a word for over a year on the SJ.
Last edited by vegastre on Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:56 am

Hood Hinge Fabrication

Let me start with a disclaimer:
Having owned H-Body cars for more years than I can count the one thing that has bugged me or I should just say I out and out dislike is the "Front" opening hood of the early GM H-Body cars. Its a poorly designed and executed feature wrapped around an absolute horrible pin setup. The cheap approach GM went to with these early offerings is never more evident when you want to remove or replace your hood. For the longest I thought it was e bad joke that some pissed off GM designer was playing. I downloaded a video to my YouTube channel which sort of explains the Disclaimer. BTW, in this video I mistakenly called the Header panel the Cowl, Excuse the brain fart.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecI6xo3iLSg

Dateline: Saturday the tenth of February, a cold gray overcast winter day that begins close to 60 F degrees early morning day break and dropping rapidly. The hood hinge setup GM designed completely wore out and in need of attention immediately because opening and closing the hood was impossible. The original pin design had to go. I started by removing the welded pins from the hood hinge arms. I then machined up a couple of stainless steel bushings which fit a 3/8 inch threaded shank bolt. I then machined out the SJ hinge plates on the core support or what was left of them to accept the new bushings. Couple of welds later the hinge plates and new bushings are ready to accept the 3/8 bolt which is almost the exact size of the original GM pins. So... the hinge arm is held in place to the bushing by the 3/8 bolt sandwiched between two stainless washers with a self locking stainless nut to hold it all tightly together. A bit of heavy grease on the parts and the hood opens and shuts with almost pure perfection.

Sunday Update:
Hood is installed and is aligned better than the factory thanks to the new pin set up. It pains me to talk negatively about GM and the Vega hood design but I think I have earned the right after four decades of ownership. Every time I see an H-body hood it's almost a personal embarrassment these cars rolled off the assembly line looking as poorly as they did. BTW, sunny and 38 degrees F today, that works for me...or not.
Last edited by vegastre on Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:28 am

Wholy Hood And Gas Charged Struts

Warmed up a little when March arrived in Texas which has allowed me to continue on the SJ. This short video shows how someone can get carried away with a hole saw and at the same time highlights one of the best modifications I have ever done to the SJ which is the installation of Gas Struts to open and close the hood. Exceptionally simple design but the functionality of this Mod raises the bar on quality and feel of the car.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP-V6ZYhJ0E

As I state in the video this is not a new Modification. I did gas struts back in 2012 and started the Wholy Hood back in 2004 and finished it up this year when designing and install of the new pin set up for the hood. Over time it all comes together to form a pretty sweet hand crafted package. Here is the link if you wish to do this Mod on your H-Body.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=37170

Speaking on hand crafted: The age of anything built with your own hands in your backyard or garage/shop is quickly coming to a close. Look no further than the cell phone you use. An Iphone looks like it was made on another planet by aliens. Even Swiss watches have lost the battle to production standards. one of the main reasons I spend so much time, energy, and money on the SJ is I want a car that reflects a time and a place when things built by hand had value and admiration. Its the reason I cut 86 holes in my hood as silly as that might look or sound.
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:15 am

April Update

CUSTOM HOOD LATCH

Another hood video featuring a design I came up with to do away with the H-Body latch. While the factory latch is certainly beefy it's a rather crude setup not the least of which is the plastic latch release cable. Having owned two H-Body''s for years I have replaced several of these plastic sheathed cables. My idea and design was more on how to replace the plastic cable and what evolved was sort of what shook out. The finished latch you see in this video was an end result rather than having a blueprint or drawings to start with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD_0Lw6Vh0I
Last edited by vegastre on Tue May 01, 2018 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby 283vega » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:45 pm

I think you may be able to replace the outer plastic cable housing with bicycle brake cable housing. This is just a guess never having done it
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Re: 3800 Supercharged Astre

Postby vegastre » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:01 am

Good idea Brian,
I will try this when I restore my 72 GT. Not sure I explained myself so good but to further confuse everyone my point is the factory latch itself is a very beefy latch with the exception of the H-Body's steel cable encased in plastic. The plastic gets brittle with age and is of course the weak link. Let me retrace and say it's not a totally bad design but more evidence where General Motors was cost conscious with the cable design during the Era where wide use of plastic and ABS was used everywhere they could..
Phil Kennedy~
72 Chevrolet Vega GT Hatchback
75 Pontiac Astre SJ Safari Wagon
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